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Goshen bar Common Spirits raises $15,000 of startup funds in less than a month

After raising more than $10,000 in less than three days, Jami and Ryan Hawkins are a step closer to reaching their dream. 

The couple is planning to open Common Spirits, a cocktail bar in downtown Goshen, by the end of this year. In April, they announced an Indiegogo fundraising campaign, with the goal of raising $15,000 to secure a location downtown.

Three days before the fundraising campaign’s deadline, the couple had only raised about $5,000. By the campaign deadline early Friday morning, the couple had raised over $16,000.

“It’s overwhelming. It’s exciting,” Ryan Hawkins said. We’re floored with the support we’re getting from friends and family and even people who we don’t even have an idea of who they are, but they see a need for it (Common Spirits).”

Jami and Ryan have not announced a location yet, but with money to secure it, the couple plans to announce it soon, Ryan said. 

With some of the financing concerns out of the way, Ryan and Jami are starting to think about menus, among other things. 

“We’re trying to think about food options and stuff like that,” Ryan said. “So that’s the fun part of this process, and just setting up … doing research as far as what it takes to apply for licenses.”

Ryan works at an IT company in Kalamazoo, but he hopes to be helping run the bar by handling the business aspects of it. Jami, who has more of a food service background and currently works at Venturi as a bar tender, will be focusing on the front-of-house part of the business. 

It will still be a while before Common Spirits opens, but now it’s closer to becoming a reality than it was a year ago, when the couple started thinking of opening a bar. 

“We were actually thinking of a cool name first,” Ryan said. “First we made sure the domain was already in place. After we came up with the name we registered everything a year ago. And we put it on the back burner for eight or nine months and then started thinking about it again.”

Though Ryan was hesitant to give specific details of when the bar will open, he said he’s happy to see the project start to take shape. 

“We’re super excited to see what happens, get things going and bring something new to downtown,” he said.

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